Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Plan Commission approves two requests

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The Porter County Plan Commission approved requests in two cases at its meeting Wednesday night.

In the first case, the Porter County Redevelopment Commission sought approval for an economic development plan in which they plan to convert the old Sherrif’s station on 700 N in South Haven into a Highway Department substation c/o Plan Commission Director Robert Thompson. The Commissioners already own the property, and it is not in a TIF district. The County Council has approved funding for the project to come from abatement money from the hospital.

Thompson said they are in the process of deciding building plans for the property. Building the proposed substation will require demolition of an old house that is on the property. The proposed design includes constructing a basic building for an office and two vehicle bays for trucks. It will act as a stopping place for Highway Dept. workers and could be a storage area for building materials used in stormwater management projects. Adding the substation will also allow for better snow management in the South Haven area.

The property is currently less than an acre--zoned institutional--so it may need to be expanded. County Attorney Scott McClure said the Portage Township Trustee owns the property surrounding the area, and is open to donating some land to the County if the RDC needs more square footage. Such a donation would require a future rezone of the property, but would make a minimal addition. “It would be a matter of 10 feet this way, or 10 feet that way,” McClure said. In that case, the RDC would come before the Commission again to seek a rezone. The Commission approved the request.

County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke said there have been a number of attempts to use the property on 700 N, and he is pleased to see a plan finally in place: “I’m glad to see everybody up there working together on this.”

In the second case, Gary and Laura Nelson petitioned the Commission to rezone their property at 60 E U.S. Hwy 6 in Liberty Township also c/o Thompson. Thompson said that the property is currently zoned low density single family residential due to a mistake in the last comprehensive rezone effort.

“It was an oversight on our part,” Thompson said. Their property is to the west of Liberty Farms mobile home park, which is and has been zoned manufactured home park as part of a special exception made by the Commission. Four parcels on the Nelson property are also used for mobile homes, and meet the criteria for the same exception. The Commission approved the request for rezone, contingent upon a staff visit to the property finding it well-kept. The visit will occur before Dec. 12, when the Nelson’s will seek final approval from the Commissioners.

No members of the public spoke for or against either case.



Posted 12/1/2017






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